Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheers for Big Yellow School Buses

I learned this week through other bloggers that live and write in the UK that school buses are not the same as in the US. I am ignorant on how the system works, but the Frugal Queen http://www.frugalqueen.co.uk/ estimated that a family pays as high as 900 pounds, not dollars, per term for a bus pass-not even a full school year. Here in the US, at least in Minnesota, school buses are provided free of charge to students, though it varies by distance between home and school as to where ridership can happen. The district I live in even has courtesy buses in which a few buses stop at centralized places, available to students that might live just beyond the busing zone, or need to transfer to a bus to go to a different school.

Even so, most kids don’t really like riding the bus as they are crowded and loud, and if it works out will gladly take a ride to and from school any day. Traffic flow near the schools every morning and afternoon can create back-ups and bottle necks, and if a commuter doesn’t pay attention, could be in for an unpleasant delay to their morning. Those of us like me that drop off on route to work, must navigate the drop off lanes with caution, as so many parents can’t seem to get the knack of the process. Despite these inconveniences, school buses signify progress; signify that a new generation of teachers, doctors, business owners, and employees are learning and growing and becoming who they will later be.

I am happy each September when we start seeing the buses on the road, caution lights and slow down signs, and crossing guards waving pedestrians through. For those that bemoan all things related to education; taxes, school year calendar, teachers’ pay and unions, think to what it might have been like a century ago, with so many kids not having the opportunity, or the obstacles to obtaining an education in other parts of the world. To mark the start of the school year, I think I am going to go sharpen some #2 pencils and remember my own days gone by school bus rides. After all, the pencils are yellow-just like a school bus.


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